February 11th, 2003

flavored with age

Bad analogies, continued

Since the Iraq war is a foregone conclusion by this point, and since this sort of sniping is pointless and lame, I don't know why I'm even bothering. But...

Here's another reason why the Gulf War II/World War II analogy doesn't fly. After December 7th, 1941, we didn't have to spend any time figuring out who the enemy was; we didn't have to identify where the Zeroes that swarmed around Pearl Harbor had come from; there was no question who harbored our attackers, who supported them materially, who issued their lethal commands. What's more, there was no need for a third-grade-level color-coded alert sytem; the enemy wasted no time in carrying out more attacks. The Japanese snatched up every island in the Pacific; Hitler had already subsumed France and half of Europe and was well on his way to eating the other half.

But most importantly, Saddam Hussein, in addition to threatening nothing and no one save in the fevered speculations of White House P.R. flaks, is bending over backwards to accomodate U.N. inspectors. A brutal dictator he unquestionably is, but he's not behaving like the sort of brutal dictator who's planning any kind of huge military campaign in the near future. Can anyone really question what Hitler's reaction would have been if we'd told him he must allow inspectors into his private homes, that he must tolerate spy planes flying over his fatherland, that he must permit restrictions on his economic, military and domestic policies by Americans and Europeans? His answer would have been one of refusal, then rhetoric, then immediate blood and fire. He didn't need us to make up worst-case scenarios of what he might do; he just went right ahead and did them.

The hawks are trying their best to turn Saddam Hussein into another Hitler. But it's just not working. He's a pocket Hitler, a Pinochet in big-boy clothes: an evil man, without qualification, but one that cannot instill in us the fear that a genuine threat exudes. War is justified by self-evident actions; it doesn't need a marketing department.
flavored with age

All you really need to know about James Lileks (No. 2 in a series)

From today’s column, on his radio listening habits:

“In the afternoon I listen to Dennis Prager, who’s thoughtful and respectful.”

Dennis Prager, of course, is the man who wrote a column boasting that his son had a black friend; who claims that the left doesn’t really care about women or the poor, but is only interested in overthrowing western values; who believes that America owes its greatness to its purported benign treatment of the Jews; who claims repeatedly, despite the easily verifiable falsity of the claim, that every Arab nation without American intervention is a Taliban-style dictatorship; and who distorts and exaggerates the facts so routinely one might suspect that he is something of a colossal liar. None of this even requires listening to his radio show; a glimpse at the archive of his recent columns will show you in great detail his overblown, hysterical beliefs in full flower.

By the way, in today’s thoughtful and respectful column, Dennis advises that you not send your children to good colleges, because they are “dominated by ‘post-moderns’ and other nihilists” whose “primary purpose” is to create a “people alienated from America and from God” with their “anti-American, morally deconstructed and simply foolish ideas”.
flavored with age

The abyss gazes also

Lore has a nice little entry about the continual marginalization of comics and where it comes from, through the framework of blogging.

Which reminds me: I am a big enough geek to lament that I haven’t been to the comic shop in weeks due to poverty, and not just because I have a big crush on the girl who works there. I am a big enough geek to have created a FileMaker database for my comics (and my CDs, and my books). But am I a big enough geek to have joined an e-mail list about MicroHeroes?

YOU TELL ME, BUDDY.
flavored with age

Someone pay me for this idea

I've never seen FOX's dynamite new reality series "Joe Millionaire", but I have an idea for a sequel that's just darling.

It would be called "Moe Jillionaire". A dozen skanky sub-Trixies would be asked to compete for the love of an ugly, foul-tempered bartender who had just inherited a jillion dollars.

Contestants would be eliminated as they slowly realized that there's no such number as a jillion. The last person left would be the stupidest one of all, and then they would have a bunch of babies and live happily ever after.
flavored with age

Today's music quiz

As we all know, Billy Joel is the worst performer in the history of pop music. No one has sucked so bad for so long. (NOTE: I will brook no dissent with this opinion. Partisans of Rod Stewart, Elton John, and Phil Collins have legitimate arguments, but those arguments are not welcome here. In my domain, Billy Joel is indisputably the King of Musical Hell.)

However, the question remains unsettled: who is the worst BAND in the history of pop music? What group has had the most and the suckiest songs for the longest time? The answer is harder than you might think. The Rolling Stones, who have at least partically sucked for 29 years and have completely sucked for 22 years, get a pass because they were really good at one point. Ditto the Beach Boys. Toto cannot win because they don't have enough shitty songs; 311 cannot win because they haven't been around long enough. Other bands tend to be boring and ineffectual rather than awful.

So, what's your choice for the worst, longest-lasting, most all-around horrible band in pop music history? Who is the Billy Joel of rock bands? Voice your choice.

(a) Journey.
(b) Genesis.
(c) Styx.
(d) Rush.
(e) Van Halen.
(f) Kansas.
(g) The Carpenters.
(h) Deep Purple.
(i) some other band of your choosing, preferably a very obvious choice I have somehow neglected.
(j) it doesn't matter, they can't be worse than Billy fucking Joel.

The judging criteria should be: Were they around for a very long time? Did they suck? Did they, despite sucking, have a lot of big hits? Did they keep cranking out sucky hits even when they were well past their prime? And unlike, say, the Stones or Fleetwood Mac, did they always suck, never having had a single good album to their credit?

Let the slaughter begin.